Sunday, November 30, 2008
SuperForesters around the world!
This film has been making the rounds. It must be seen to be believed.
You do not have to agree with it, but you must see it.
Zeitgeist: Addendum will be one of the major talking points of the next decade.
Your homework is to watch it, that we may collectively discuss the ideas put forth.
Here's the link: Zeitgeist: Addendum
Love to All,
Jackson and Team SuperForest
Firstly, while riding on a bus headed into town, someone hurled a rock at a window towards the rear of the bus. It sounded like a bullet, the driver hesitated and, naturally, I felt quite scared and upset that someone would do that. Had we been travelling on an older-style bus (with regular glass windows), the rock no doubt would have launched right through the window and hit the passenger sitting beside it.
Secondly, following the rock incident, the driver stopped the bus and called the police to report the incident. The police told him that the passengers had to disembark and wait for the next bus while the police were on their way to investigate. A group sitting towards the back of the bus whined and harassed the driver as they were going to be late for whatever event they were headed to.
Thirdly, on another occasion, a schoolgirl made a racist slur under her breath that, had they heard it, would have offended just about half, if not all, the people on the bus.
Finally, while standing at the side of a road last night, waiting to cross, I turned to see a car suddenly swerve towards, then away from, me – if for no other reason than to scare the crap out of me. Following this incident, I got home and felt really down. I felt that people have no regard for each other and I started to harbour very negative thoughts. I felt helpless and sad for those who seek ways to torment others.
My boyfriend then said something that helped. “Ok, even if you tracked that kid’s car down and threw a tonne of bricks into his windscreen, his Dad would find the car in the morning and be very upset. He’d probably give someone else a hard time because he’d be so outraged. And the person he takes it out on might go and do the same to someone else. So the end result would be more unhappy people.”
This inspired a brainwave. If I woke up tomorrow morning, and was the nicest I have ever been, smiled at everyone I crossed paths with and just generally became, for lack of a more articulate expression, a beacon of light … that might set off a chain of goodness that stretches further than I could imagine. And then I thought of SuperForest. And how this is exactly what Jackson had in mind when he created it. To turn negatives into positives. Mission accomplished, dear friend.
Hugs to Daniel Gimenez for the pic.
Let's start with the last one, the history.
The first traces of bread have been dated back to the Neolithic era, aka the New Stone Age. This is roughly 10,000 B.C., quite a while ago. Back then it was made from cereal grains and water and these are, remarkably enough, the main ingredients we still use today.
This ancient bread still has got it's descendents today, it is believed that the Mexican tortilla, the Indian naan, and the Mid-Eastern pita can be seen as "the fathers of all breads". Take the pita for example, for the people not knowing this kind of bread, it's a circular flat bun; approximately a fifth of an inch thick and about four inches in diameter.
These are a few excellent pita's. Before eating they're often toasted, sliced open and stuffed with an ingredient of choice, could be shwarma meat, could be veggies. But funny enough this type of bread got through to Italy a few centuries ago. There they decided to make it a bit larger and put a variation of toppings on it. Namely: tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil. Et voila, the pizza was born. Later it became an international food and migrated to the U.S.A. and other countries.
But pizza is a somewhat mutated form of bread. So the bread-trend started a couple of thousand years ago at various places and managed to spread across the entire world. But why would such a simple-seeming thing spread like a virus?
Back in the Neolithic days people had lots of land that could be used for harvesting crops. And they did, in fact crop farming was first developed in the Neolithic. People had lots of crops but they hadn't discovered breakfast cereal yet. So there was no point in flattening some of your maize, putting it in a basket and holding the whole under a cow while you're milking it. No, there was just a lot of grain but no proper way to prepare it. So everyone was very happy to get a 'DIY-guide' on processing the grain into an edible product.
Furthermore the edible end-product, bread, contains a lot of energy. Energy that was needed for hard work on the land.
Funny enough this is still the reason why we eat bread in the Netherlands. It contains lots of energy in the form of carbohydrates. This kind of energy can be released easily by your body so when consuming bread in the morning you're ready to go when you arrive at work or school. (I must admit I rarely have bread for breakfast, personally I prefer a good bowl of breakfast cereal; also containing carbs).
There are a few more reasons to eat bread today then there were back in the Stone-Age days. The fibers are good for your digestion and (added) vitamins contribute to your general health.
This directly could be one of the reasons why it's eaten at such a vast amount of places. But there's got to be another reason than: "it's healthy."
And there is. For starters grain is available at a lot of places. And where there's grain, there's bread; so to speak. But personally I think that the fact that it's customizable plays a larger role. Translated in 21st century slang: "Bread is hackable". If you have a bit of dough you can do an infinite number of things with it. You can put nuts, fruits, spices, seeds or even vegetables in it to improve the taste. When done baking there is, again, an infinity of serving possibilities. In Mediterranean countries for example they serve bread right before dinner with olive oil and salt. The purpose is to pour some of the oil over a slice of bread and sprinkle a bit of the salt over it. In France, also a Mediterranean country, but a bit different though, they serve their famous Baguette with their even more famous cheese (or fromage, if you're a Francophone).
And here in the Netherlands, well, we bake a bread, slice it up and cover it with a variety of things. I often have strawberry jam on my slices at lunch but the Dutch in general massively consume hagelslag. Don't blame yourself if you've never heard of this before, it's a Dutch bread topping made from chocolate.
They're a bit like the U.S. Jimmies. Anyway, they're widely known and used within the borders of the Netherlands. When people go camping in another country they take a few cartons of hagelslag with them because it's unavailable in other countries. That's a fun fact about Dutchmen actually.
Since SuperForest is quite international it seems an interesting idea to ask the readers if they eat bread. So, do you eat bread? And, if yes, what kind of bread? When do you eat it and how do you eat it? Drop us a line.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Artist Graham Rawle has re-imagined the Wizard of Oz into a new book!
Check out Graham Rawle's website for a sweet behind-the-scenes video and more "making of" photos.
Friday, November 28, 2008
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving radiating with the love and positivity that the Universe is constantly throwing at us. And what is more representative of love and positivity than a big hug from a total stranger!? I'm sure we've all seen the FREE HUGS signs and shirts, and are often hesitant to accept them, but, to quote the Free Hugs Campaign website, "sometimes a hug is all we need".
Love to all,
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Of her work, Duoqi says, "In the summer of 2006, I bought a few kilograms of peas, and sat there quietly for two days peeling them, before stringing them on a wire and turning them into a skirt, a top, a headdress and a magic wand. I used a remote control to take a photo of myself in them, and named it Pea Beauty Pageant. That was my first work of vegetable art."
Read more about Ju Duoqi here.
To SuperForesters around the world!
Thank you for reading this site.
Much love to each and everyone.
Jackson, Niki, Andrew, Alex, Taylor, Jaell, Julius, April, Jordan, Spoon, Carla, Iman, and Baloo the Tanksgivingzzz hound.
Today in 1922, Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon opened and had a wee peek into King tut's tomb!
How sweet is that?
Here's the wiki.
86 years ago on This Day in Awesome History!
Reuters and the NY Times are both announcing that New York is in danger of a Thanksgiving "terror strike" by "al Qaeda."
Just to put this announcement in perspective: You are six thousand times more likely to die of congestive heart failure than you are of dying in a "terror attack."
Translation: Nothing to worry about folks! Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and much love to you all.
p.s. Go easy on the gravy.
How this news morsel snuck by is beyond me, but since most folks haven't heard the news:
A German man who underwent stem cell treatments to treat his leukemia has found as a happy side-effect that the HIV cells in his system had disappeared, and have yet to reappear. The operation was headed by Dr. Gero Hutter of the Charité-Medical University of Berlin.
"We waited every day for a bad reading," Dr. Hütter told reporters this week, some eight months after he first reported the case, in February at the 2008 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. But so far, he and colleagues have been unable to find the virus in blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes, intestines, or brain, he said."
Let's run that by again, much simpler this time.
HIV positive human + stem cell therapy = no HIV.
Now the treatment is expensive, half a mill, but the cost will drop. And the treatment is dangerous, but in time it will be safer.
So anyone with half a mill and a reckless streak can be cured of their HIV.
This news is staggering in the extreme.
Here's news words: MedpageToday, Wall Street Journal, and NY Times.
Go technology! And a massive SuperForest "Thank you!" to Dr. Gero Hutter and the Charité-Medical University of Berlin.
Okay, so far thanks to stem cells, we can regrow lost limbs, help paralyzed folks walk, and cure HIV. One wonders what could have been achieved had we not banned research eight years ago.
Love that tech.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Don't be a sucker.
If you want to quit smoking and need help, check out smokefree.gov.
Obama did it and so can you!
Effective January 1st, 2009 a new tax benefit was added to the IRS Code section 132(f), employees who commute to work by bicycle can now be reimbursed for certain bicycle expenses on a tax-free basis for reasonable expenses incurred by the employee during the calendar year for the purchase of a bicycle, bicycle improvements, repair and storage, provided the bicycle is used regularly to travel between the employee's residence and the place of employment.
You Go America! You are the DUDEST!
Find out if you qualify HERE~
On another note, Please wear your helmets!
The Red Digital Cinema Camera Company is turning out to be the little company that could.
A short while ago, Red execs stood up at a trade conference and announced their intention to build a digital camera capable of capturing resolution as yet unheard of. Better yet, the cameras would be cheap, rugged, and modular, with obsolescence built right out. And they were going to do it in a year.
They were laughed at...
Who's laughing now?
We are all laughing now! Everybody now gets insane resolution at amazing prices!
This means that all of the existing "top of the line" digital devices will be going for pennies two years from now. Everybody wins.
An whole new era of digital film making is just beginning, and the Red camera will be responsible for jump-starting it.
Wired.com has a great article on the Red.
Monday, November 24, 2008
And I’m going to teach you the proper way to eat this delectable goodie nature has provided us. Okay so maybe it’s not the proper way…actually it isn’t very proper at all but it is definitely the most fun!
Step 1: Choosing the pomegranate. Most pomegranates at around this time of year are delicious so choosing good ones is not much of an issue however, for the purpose of this exercise; you want to look for a few characteristics. Here are pomegranates A, B, and C.
Step 2: Wash the pomegranate, for obvious reasons.
Step 3: Give it a good squeeze. By squeezing the pomegranate you are releasing all of the juices in the inside (we avoided the pomegranates with scars before because if it were to burst during this step, things could get ugly). Do this until the pomegranate is relatively soft.
How much more organic can a drink get? Recent studies have shown that pomegranate juice also offers several health benefits. So there you have it, delicious and super healthy for you as well.
An all girl metal band is awesome enough, but an all girl metal band that could be executed for revealing their identities (!) takes awesome and ties it to a rocket and fires it directly into the sun resulting in a supernova of awesomeness the world has yet to match.
From the NYTimes:
"JIDDA, Saudi Arabia — They cannot perform in public. They cannot pose for album cover photographs. Even their jam sessions are secret, for fear of offending the religious authorities in this ultraconservative kingdom.
But the members of Saudi Arabia’s first all-girl rock band, the Accolade, are clearly not afraid of taboos.The band’s first single, “Pinocchio,” has become an underground hit here, with hundreds of young Saudis downloading the song from the group’s Web site. Now, the pioneering foursome, all of them college students, want to start playing regular gigs — inside private compounds, of course — and recording an album."
Oh man, so awesome. First Acrassicauda, now this.
Here's the full story from the Times.
Freedom rock, y'all. Turn it up man, turn it up.
Thanks to Robert Worth over at the Times.
Just got an email from SuperForester Neal, who wonders why we haven't yet covered the art car phenom. Hmmmm. We wondered the same thing!
It seems that the wily and clever SuperForester Neal has converted his Geo Tracker into a rolling chalkboard, redubbed: the Geo Chalker!
Take it away, Neal!
I recently became a Superforest fan. I like the commitment to saving the world while still keeping things cool. The art postings are great too. One thing I don't see is any mention of art cars. I'd love to see someone cover this fringe art. As an art car driver myself, let me tell you why I chose to drive an art car.
My beat up, rusty 1996 Geo Tracker was a sore sight on the road. But being an artist and an employee of a nonprofit, I can't yet afford to purchase a better car. While I dream of one day having a zero emissions car, I'm stuck with what I've got. It may be ugly but it gets me there. Plus thanks to it's lightweight and four wheel drive, I'm rarely ever stuck in the MN snowfall. (To all considering 4x4 transportation, check out an old Tracker. Their small size and small engine get great gas milage compared to other SUV type vehicles. I still get 25+ mpg.)
I decided that if I have to drive this vehicle (I do bike whenever I can) it should at least add some kind of beauty to the roadways and parking lots of the world. So I decided to turn it into an art car. More specifically, an interactive art car where the rest of the world creates the art and I drive it around. I spraypainted the entire car in chalkboard paint and attached a bag of chalk to the spare tire. Two small signs encourage passerbys to leave their mark on my car, aptly named the Geo Chalker. When I see a new chalking, I snap a photo and upload to www.GeoChalker.com.
I think you'll find that a lot of Superforesters out there would drive an art car if they had the choice and most art car artists would consider themselves a Superforester. I also encourage anyone out there to transform their car into a piece of art. The roadways of the world need a touch of beauty to them. If you do, send me a photo at blackboard(at)geochalker(dot)com. I'd love to post images of Superforester Art Cars.
Video of me painting the car: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
The Flickr Set can be found here:
But some of my favorites are:
People chalking it up at an art car gathering:
Fire and squiggles:
A random chalking:
Neal, that rules in so many ways. Thank you so much for the amazing post!
ANy other SuperForesters out there drive or seen any art cars? Send them on in: superforestnyc(at)gmail(dot)com.
Love to All,
TV news makes you dumb, internet news makes you smart!
(At least, that's what folks are saying.)
Online Universities.com has a great list of 100 blogs that, if read, will make you smarter.
How smart? Einstein? Plato? Aristotle?...
Morons. That is compared to you, oh reader of internet news.
Check it out: 100 Blogs That Will Make You Smarter
Massive thanks to Kelly Kilpatrick of Online Universities.com.
What happens when
Steven Strogatz a mathematician, & Carlo Ratti an engineer/architect, get together and interview each other about large city/human systems planning, designing and monitoring?
slibby dip dop do dippy dip tee dee doooo! OOoooooooo Yeeeeeaaaah!
Love to ALL,
Here's a nice way to start your Monday.
If we work together, there's nothing that cannot be accomplished.
P.S. Call your parents. Tell them you love them.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
I noticed this clever cross light just this morning on my way to work
in Brooklyn. It's by artists called "Thundercut".
Here is a link to NYMagazine on the artist:
Amazing! Cheers Bee.
Seen something SuperForesty? Send it on in: superforestnyc(at)gmail(dot)com.
Jackson and Team SuperForest
paraSITE is a temporary tent for the homeless that is made from two layers of sturdy plastic. So why temporary? Well, the 'tent' features an air tube which can be attatched to an air vent of a big building (those things blow warm air 24/7, unused warmth that goes up in the sky). The warm air fills the two-layered tent in no-time and there you have it, paraSITE.
The air vent is nicely visible here and the tent is still inflating. But when it's filled up it provides a roof and bed for someone who doesn't have that on a regular basis. And it's also nice and warm. From an environmental perspective paraSITE is awesome, it uses energy (the hot air) that would have gone to waste otherwise. But from a legal perspective it's not so cool. The law says you can't just put up your tent on the sidewalk. But Rakowitz found a hole in the law and designed another model.
It's maybe a bit hard to see but the paraSITE is laying at the back. Now it's not that much of a tent anymore, Rakowitz made it a bag; comparable to a sleeping bag. Now that the tent part is mostly gone officers can't say "You're violating law x here so please get your stuff together and leave" anymore. The above photograph was actually taken during a meetup of a homeless man who spent the night in the sleeping bag and an officer. This is what Rakowitz writes about the situation on his website:
"We designed his shelter to be closer to the ground, more like a sleeping bag or some kind of body extension. Thus, if questioned by the police, he could argue that the law did not apply because the shelter was not, in fact, a tent. On more than one occasion, Michael was confronted by police officers. After measuring his shelter, the officers moved on."How fun is it to find holes in the law use them to a good extent.
Organic Although organic cotton is more expensive, you are supporting the environmental and ethical approach to growing the world's biggest fabric fibre. Choosing organic cotton sends a clear message that we don't want chemicals in our clothes and allows growers to take precautions against pollution in their own environments.
Fair trade Many companies exploit workers by paying them below official wage rates, making them work excessive hours, they may use underage workers, use "sweatshops", treat workers poorly in poor conditions, don't invest in their workers' skills or communities. Buying fair trade clothes means you won't abide by this kind of treatment.
Sustainable Choosing sustainable designs means you are sending out a clear message about how you'd prefer your clothing to have minimal impact on the environment, as well as potentially reduce the fabric and discarded clothes mountains already in existence. Plus, sustainable clothes encourage developments in biodegradable materials.
Recycled This prevents the waste of useful materials and reduces the consumption of fresh raw materials and their associated energy and consumption.
Vegan This relates to clothing that has not been made using meat by-products or any animal or animal-tested by-products.
To illustrate how beautiful and wonderfully funky such clothing can be, I've pasted a few pieces below.